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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

For your Tuesday radar: The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York will hear a case against Trump for blocking critics on Twitter.

Why it matters: In January, the Virginia-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that government officials can't block constituents on social media accounts that they use for official business, based on its interpretation of the First Amendment. If the 2nd Circuit interprets the law differently, it's likely that the issue could find its way to the Supreme Court.

Yes, but: If the 2nd Circuit agrees with the 4th Circuit's interpretation of the law, it would set an important precedent on how public officials, especially the president, can use their official social media accounts.

  • It would mean that government officials' social media accounts should be treated the same way as access to physical public forums like town halls, where no one can be blocked from participating based on the content of their speech.

What they're saying: 

  • The White House has argued that the @realdonaldtrump Twitter handle, which was created before the president ran for office, is not his official @POTUS45 government handle, and thus the president has the right to block whoever he wants. 
  • The plaintiffs — i.e., those who have been blocked — argue that the White House has used the @realdonaldtrump Twitter handle for official communications and thus he shouldn't be able to block people from the account based on the views they express.

Be smart: Legal experts point to examples in the past where White House officials have declared statements from the @realdonaldtrump handle to be official statements from the president.

  • "I don’t think the government’s argument will hold up in court," said Joshua Geltzer, executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law Center.
  • "The courts have been rejecting this type of argument."

The bottom line: Trump's prolific use of social media use is testing the legal limits of the First Amendment. 

Go deeper

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.